Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 44–48 | Cite as

A double-blinded evaluation of intraperitoneal bupivacaine vs saline for the reduction of postoperative pain and nausea after laparoscopic cholecystectomy

  • J. W. Szem
  • L. Hydo
  • P. S. Barie



Intraperitoneal local anesthesia has been reported to reduce postoperative pain after laparoscopy for gynecologic procedures that do not require a great deal of dissection or manipulation of viscera. This study was performed to determine the efficacy of intraperitoneal bupivacaine in laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).


Fifty-five patients were evaluable in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Twenty-six patients received bupivacaine (0.1%) and 29 patients received placebo (saline). Prior to any dissection of the gallbladder, the surgeon irrigated 100 ml of experimental solution under the right hemidiaphragm, over Glisson’s capsule, over the gallbladder serosa, and into the subhepatic space. The operation was then performed as usual. Postoperatively, analgesic medication usage, nausea, vomiting, and pain scores were determined during hospitalization. A questionnaire was given to each patient upon discharge from the hospital in order to continue monitoring medications and pain for the first 48 h at home.


Postoperative pain was reduced significantly (P < 0.05) in the patients who received bupivacaine, but the effect was modest and observable only during the first 6 h after surgery. Despite this difference, there was no significant reduction in the amount of analgesic medication used by the patients who received bupivacaine, nor was there any reduction in nausea, vomiting, or shoulder pain when queried specifically.


Intraperitoneal bupivacaine offered a detectable, albeit subtle benefit to patients undergoing LC. However, the effect was transient and had little impact upon the patient’s convalescence.

Key words

Laparoscopy Cholecystectomy Post operative pain Analgesia Opioids Bupivicaine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Szem
    • 1
  • L. Hydo
    • 1
  • P. S. Barie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, F-2008Cornell University Medical Center, The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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